Employees Demand Microsoft Drop Military Contract

The piece linked below is (yet another piece) about technology companies employees (this time at Microsoft) insisting that their employers give up a juicy military contract. In most cases, it would be weird for an employee to complain about the work: after all, this is the company you signed on with, right? Didn’t you know what you were getting into? But in the present case, employees signed up to work for a leading tech company—you know, the one that makes Word and Excel—and has ended up working for an company helping build weapons technology. Of course, the employees could always just quit. Does the option of ‘exit’ do anything to reduce employees’ right to complain?

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LINK: Microsoft workers’ letter demands company drop Army HoloLens contract (by Colin Lecher for The Verge)

In a letter addressed to top executives, a group of Microsoft workers is demanding the company drop a controversial contract with the United States Army.

The workers object to the company taking a $479 million contract last year to supply tech for the military’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS. Under the project, Microsoft, the maker of the HoloLens augmented reality headset, could eventually provide more than 100,000 headsets designed for combat and training in the military. The Army has described the project as a way to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy.”

“We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the US Military, helping one country’s government ‘increase lethality’ using tools we built,” the workers write in the letter, addressed to CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith. “We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.”….

What do you think?


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